A Caged Bird

A Caged Bird

There are things I will never miss about anorexia.
I will not miss
Staring in the mirror
While the shower steamed up the corners of the glass
Watching my naked body
Like a caged bird
While my eyes began to sting
As I fought to keep them open
Out of fear that
Should I shut my eyes,
I would open them
And be twice the size as before.
I do not miss the freezing showers
Chapped fingers tentatively turning the dial to cold
As I carried out my latest new trick to poison my body.
I remember the droplets shooting off my cheeks
Quicker than I could count calories
As my teeth chattered
From the icy water cascading down my malnourished body.
Blue hands and lips were a reasonable price to pay for skinny.
I don’t miss standing on the golden sacred scales
And hitting rock bottom
Only to realise it was just a balcony
In a 100 story block of flats
That I had yet to fall down.
I don’t miss the feeling of frightening bliss
When every mouthful
Was the most wonderful relief for my tummy
And the most vivid nightmare for my mind.
Sometimes I miss starving myself
But I don’t miss starving my family
Of love
Kindness
Warmth
Affection
And
Hope.
As much as I believed I was soaring when I was starving
I was simply flying a descending plane with my eyes shut
Steering myself towards the ground
With the people I love as the passengers
Sacrificing myself ceremoniously
And bringing the rest of the world down as collateral damage.
Most of all
I do not miss hindsight
I do not miss the perfect irony
Of shrinking myself small enough to hide
From all of the things I was painfully afraid of
When really I was igniting the dead wood of my life
Into a rageful roar of flames
That almost killed me while I was trying to quench the heat.
Although I am warm now, rosy, happier,
The little fires still sizzle in the ashes
Of anorexia.

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

Vanity is a lie

Vanity is a lie

I look in the mirror far too much.
I fish for complements.
I paint my face, a mask,
I put blood on my lips
I wash my hair of everything bad that lives inside my head
I comb it and curl it
Until you can see every shade of beautiful honey blonde that shines there.

I look in the mirror far too much.
I admire my glow,
My radiance,
My perfect lips.
I see the beauty that everyone tells me I possess
And I ignore the faces of people who have ruined my dignity that I see beside me
The hungry spirits that possess me.
I watch those people staring at me
Thinking
‘god look at that beauty
what a pretty little thing
Look at that vanity’

But really
When I stare into my own eyes in the reflection
I blink back the tears
to stop the black paint running from my eyelashes
And I ask myself
How can this body
Hide the thick repulsive poison that sits inside?
How can it conceal the pain
That burns up the organs inside of me?
Vanity builds the blooming garden of roses across my cheeks
and the sunflowers that reach up my legs
To hide the bundles of stinging nettles that fill out my bones.

I look in the mirror far too much.
So tell me
How can it be that I am so beautiful?
When so much ugliness has been bred inside me?
What a treasure
That people see vanity instead of vulnerability
Vanity instead of years of violation.
What an absolute
Beautiful
Treasure.

I’m not coming home

I’m not coming home

I spent years trying to escape my burning home
The house was fine
But the walls inside we’re black with soot
The flames that I felt the scalding heat from
Lapped at my skin
Leaving burns in the places most people don’t see
The air inside is thick with smoke
It covered my mouth
Like a grey leather glove pressed against my lips
Fighting for breath
With my parents hands fitting so perfectly over my voice
The matches we lit ignited the carpets
They burned and burned with the alcohol flooding the rooms
From my mother’s empty wine bottles
They blazed so high
But so silently that there was nothing anyone could do
My lovers would see the ash on my skin
And weep with me
Because no matter how much I was being flamed
When there’s no real fire to put out
What can they do to save me?
I spent eighteen years fighting the fire in my home
I spent so long trying to hide from the heat
And longer soothing my burns
But now I am free
I am getting my breath back
With every exhale I set loose the smoke inside of me
Sometimes I am even scared to talk to people
Because of the stench of burning flesh on my breath
I got out less than a month ago
The air is cooler on the other side
The little fires inside of me still roar
When I hear my mother’s voice down the phone
And I smell the smoke on her tongue she speaks
I am reminded of the walls I fought to escape from
I feel the grief of the things I’ve left behind
Which have turned to dust
I grieve and I grieve and I grieve
For the home that I never knew
For the mother I didn’t save
And I burn for the father with matches in his back pocket.
The new skin I’m growing covers up
The parts of me that could never breathe
What a gift to no longer be suffocated
What a gift to be able to tell my father,
The one who built the home that he set ablaze,
That no matter how much you ask for me to forgive you,
I escaped the chains I was bound in
I survived the fire
I’m so sorry
But I can’t
I’m not coming home.

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

I’ll let you know

I’ll let you know

Stay away
For today
I am sick.
It’ll be okay
One of these days
But for now
I am weak.
I’ll let you know when you can hold me
Without me falling apart at your feet
I don’t want to become dust
That means nothing to us
Ready for sweeping.
I’ll let you know when it’s safe to love me
So I won’t shake you
Or even break you.
Because I am sick and
only angels are holding me up.
When I am taller, instead of smaller
I’ll let you know
So we can reach for sunrise and smile at sunset
Knowing I made it.
I wish I could make me better
And once I’m better
If you don’t mind the wait
I’ll let you know.

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

Sugar just as sweet

Sugar just as sweet

Cake mixture swallowing my tummy up
Sweet and sickly
Rising and rising against my stomach

And so the bake begins

Tasted by some twice my age
Vile greedy fingers can taste the sugar
sugar just as sweet as my figure in a dress
Lapped up and savoured
I’m as sweet as a cake
Just when you’re hungry
A treat
Just for you

The flour that makes me swell was shovelled down me
Dry in my mouth
Self raising
Soon to be as round as a balloon

Turn your heads away when the cake is ready
I’ll wait for you to try a slice
And leave me to eat it up or burn it alive
Until there’s nothing left of it

9 months to wait because of some sweetness that lasted you minutes
A night where I died again and a tiny parasite was born

Watch me hate myself for the rest of my life
Because I’m too young to know how to bake the fucking cake that you made me into
I burned it
And I won’t forgive myself
Until the next time

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

A corpse with a body of beauty

A corpse with a body of beauty

I have been nectar
And fallen petals
I have been a broken plate
And a shining black eye
A gun to my own head
And a bloody tissue to dry my own tears
I have taken it all
And rinsed myself clean again
I have asked for it time and time again
And cried when I realised how much I was an empty seashell
Carrying the sound of a thousand waves
Can I ever be whole
When I have been scooped out?
I am a corpse with a body of beauty
Buried
Alive
But barely breathing
I won’t stop asking for the pain until shatters my porcelain
It’s destiny
I know each time it kills me
And maybe
That’s what I’m hoping for
And that’s why I can’t get enough

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com